Fresno city officials say they're ready for storms with 150 ponding basins

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Water was pumped out of one ponding basin and moved to another or through canals to underground aquifers to make room for the latest round of rain. (KFSN)

Once the storm hits all of that water has to go somewhere.

The Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District operates 150 ponding basins. The winter storms pose a major challenge, but the timing was good with this latest system.

Water was pumped out of one ponding basin and moved to another or through canals to underground aquifers to make room for the latest round of rain. Brent Sunamoto of the FMFCD says the system benefited from a break in between storms.

"It was very important," he said. "You can't pump these basins down instantaneously. It takes some time, and we needed some in between time to get the water level pumped down."

Some of the flooded basins are located in parks so the fields at Rotary Park at Gettysburg and First Avenues and won't be usable for a while.

The rain flooded soccer and softball fields and basketball courts, but the water will soak through and start to move through the drainage system. Sunamoto says a slow, steady rain is much more manageable than a big storm which can overwhelm the system.

"We try to keep our basins as low as we can," he said. "If we get a hard rain the streets are going to back at some time, but they will drain away."

After over five years of drought, the winter rains have helped recharge local aquifers. The rainwater, which is collected eventually, gets treated and becomes drinking water.

At this point, this latest storm hasn't posed as big of a problem as some of the other winter systems which caused flooding in many neighborhoods.
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